Charlie Trotter Reportedly Wigs Out, Locks Students Out of Restaurant

The chef allegedly hurled slurs, asked students to clean his toilets when they set up an art installation

The chef reportedly kicked students out of his closed restaurant space.

Odd news from the retired-chefs arena: Art students from Chicago's After School Matters program are claiming that Charlie Trotter lost his temper with the students yesterday, hurling gay slurs and expletives before kicking them out of his restaurant.

The students, who were preparing an exhibit inside the old restaurant space, claim that Trotter asked them to clean his toilets, and asked one student if she was going to get a "Charlie Trotter's" tramp-stamp tattoo. He then allegedly kicked them out of his old restaurant space and locked them out of the space, essentially "stealing" their art and keeping their electronic equipment (including iPads).

The chef sits on the board of After School Matters, and the exhibit has reportedly been in the works for more than a month. "It was supposed to be a really positive event. Young people working hard all summer making their photographs, framing them, putting them up, marketing to people to come out. We sell their work, too," a superviser told the Chicago Sun-Times.

WGN-TV went to the restaurant to follow up, and found the chef in a sporting jacket and black baseball cap. "Should I do an Alec Baldwin or what?" Trotter asked the reporter, before asking if she had a job and returning to the building. Watch the video below.

Celebs Who Don't Shower Daily

We always expect celebrities to look like a million bucks every time they make a public appearance. Thanks to their dedicated team of fashion stylists and hair and makeup artists, it's rare for a star to step out looking less than flawless from head to toe. But looks can be deceiving. Although many of our favorite stars look absolutely stunning on the outside, you might catch a whiff of a nasty odor if you were to stand right next to them. This is because some famous people are known for slacking when it comes to their hygiene habits.

Some celebrities are actually rather candid when it comes to discussing their daily rituals. Some have admitted to skipping out on taking showers for days on end, while others were put on blast by their close friends, co-stars, and anonymous sources. And we're not talking about D-listers here! We've got everyone from allegedly odorous Oscar-winners to potentially musty morning news anchors. These are the celebs who are known for not showering daily. Pee-yew!

Who's Killing the Great Lawyers of Harvard?

Every year, thousands of the most perfect young Americans apply for admission to Harvard Law School. And every year, the fabled institution of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Kissinger, and five ninths of the current Supreme Court, the school whose name inspires reverence from garbagemen and presidents alike, replies with a thin envelope containing a single sheet of woven-cotton stationery that says, essentially, Fuck you.

Harvard Law School seeks inner beauty. It desires passion, creativity, interestingness in its applicants and thinks nothing of rejecting Yale's top undergrad if that undergrad is an anal-retentive bore. Furious parents of straight-A student-council presidents have been known to make the pilgrimage to Cambridge to demand justice for their rejected offspring, and admissions officers might gently suggest the word intangibles to explain the kid's shortcomings. Hip Harvard Law School students take in the spectacle and smirk.

Smirking, in fact, might be the official facial expression

of Harvard Law School. At least it was when I was graduated from there ten years ago. And why not? As a Harvard Law student, you've got the world by the balls. The degree, the most potent, fearsome weapon in all of academia, confers upon its holder a near guarantee of riches, freedom, prestige, and happiness. Listening to those parents hopelessly invoking the virtues of their well-bred sons and daughters, we knew we had it made. We knew we were the complete package. We knew we were golden.

THE CLASS MOTHER HEN sends me the phone directory he's been compiling. He doesn't flinch at the word souls when I tell him I'm interested in exploring what happened to the souls of the class of '90. "Get ready to be depressed, man," he says. "You won't find all that many people, at least those still in law, who love their lives."

I open the directory. There's the guy who impaled himself on the metal volleyball spike during an intramural basketball game. Here's the math major who, in surveying the women in our class, lamented that "at Harvard Law, it appears brains times beauty equals a constant." There's Andrea, maybe the most brilliant mind in the class, who included this melancholy note by her entry: "So much for visions of changing the world . . ."

I reach a guy who went to divinity school in order to resolve inner questions that cropped up about the universe. "You start dealing with those issues," he says. "You can't show up in a law firm and really care about another merger." I catch up with a roommate who ditched his firm to become a big shot at Motown and is now the point man at a risky Internet start-up. An old buddy, suffering as a real estate lawyer, tells me that he fantasizes about using the blood money he's saved to buy a "faraway convenience store."

A former hippie type now writes the television program The Street and an occasional Ally McBeal. He has no job security, but he's happier than hell and couldn't fathom going back to law. A woman who loved science fiction and crossword puzzles left law to sell cruises and is now a part-time secretary with a temp agency. "A failure, I know," she says, "but I'm finding myself--and at least I'm out of the firms." One partner at one of the country's fanciest firms confides that he's finalizing plans to quit his job. "I'll go crazy if I stay," he says. "But please don't print anything more about me. If my plan folds, I'll still need the firm."

One after another, those who have left law, especially law firms, seem happy. Those who have not are suffering or, worse, resigned. They talk about losing themselves. These are strange times in the workplace, and one need only look to Harvard Law School for example. Harvard doesn't keep such statistics, so it's difficult to tell with precision, but a look through the current class directory reveals that fewer than half the members of the Class of 1990 work in firms and roughly a quarter of those with entries do not appear to practice law. Young people for whom the world of work opened its arms as a mother would have forsaken their degrees and found another line of work. More vow to leave the law with the next infusion of cash or gumption. What happened, I ask my classmates, to the days when we had the world by the balls? What happened to the days when we were golden?

"I don't believe we thought much about happiness as young men. If you had a steady job with decent pay and a good family at home, that was a pretty fine life. The chance to go to a top law school and get a good job, one you knew would set you apart, well, we thought that was pretty good. And the idea of quitting law after you'd studied for years and had all that opportunity? Why would anyone do that?"

--robert hupp, class of 1950, partner, murphy,

hupp & kinnally, aurora, illinois

"I hate my job, man. I'm dying to get out of here. I'm dying to talk about it with someone. I thought all weekend that if I talk to you for your story, maybe that will give me the momentum I need to quit. I know you said I could remain confidential. But there's always that one tenth of one percent chance someone will figure out it's me. And I can't put this job in jeopardy. I know that's depressing, but that's the way it's gotta be. So sorry, man. I can't talk to you."

--anonymous, class of 1990, partner at a large

SOMEWHERE NEAR THE BOTTOM of his sock drawer, Victor Bernace keeps one of his few happy childhood memories. It's a photograph, and the star of the picture is none other than Victor, all of eight years old, grinning and clutching a wad of money--must be a million dollars there--and hoisting that dough into the air as if he's conquered the world, which is exactly what his father told him to do with his life just seconds before he said, Smile, and pressed the shutter. And even though the kid in the picture is clutching just a pile of typing paper cut into money shapes, his father said, Keep that picture and look at it, Victor make a million dollars, get the American dream. And Victor kept the picture and he still looks at it, even though he can't remember how old he was when his father died from alcoholism and his mother started trying to murder him.

No one spoke English at Victor's house in Chicago, only Spanish, but the family had a TV, so he studied cartoons, learning grammar from Bugs Bunny and vocabulary from Scooby-Doo. His dad made ends meet as a waiter, not at a joint, but at one of Chicago's grand hotels, the kind, he'd tell Victor, where guests don't hear plates clinking and they get three forks. Victor figures he might have been nine when his family moved to Inwood, the hardscrabble section on the northernmost tip of Manhattan, and his father died of cirrhosis. By then, he knew his mother was nuts. While Victor was figuring how to become the man of the house, his mother kept telling him he was going to die tomorrow, that she was the chosen woman dressed in white in the Bible who gives birth to the man-child, and it was all tinged with sexual themes, like Victor would be a virgin forever and die a virgin. She tried to poison Victor twice. The people at Bellevue Hospital, where Mrs. Bernace resided after trying to kill Victor, called it paranoid schizophrenia, and Victor was sent to a foster home. Victor didn't mind so much that schoolteachers believed he was retarded and needed special ed. All Victor knew was that he was always hungry and that childhood--except for Charlie's Angels and science-fiction library books--didn't feel so good.

FIRST GRADE IS WHEN MOST kids learn what sound a T makes. First grade is when Andrea Kramer started reading astronomy books.

Were she not cute in just the way it's great to be cute at six--apple cheeks, boy crushes, rapid-fire giggle--Andrea might have been pegged by classmates as pure dork. By second grade, she had shunned Barbies to learn about space flight. Her parents, neither of whom had graduated from college, watched in wonder as she slew math puzzles intended for boys who had already shaved.

What her mom and dad didn't see was that during second grade, Andrea was also studying the poverty of her Lower East Side neighborhood in Manhattan. In the Bowery, Andrea found a spot where she could watch bums sleep outside vacant tenements. To her mind, which swooned at the justice inherent in math problems, there was no equilibrium in homeless human beings sleeping outside empty homes. While the bums dozed, Andrea fantasized about saving them, and when she was eight, she announced at the dinner table that that's exactly what she intended to do with her life.

CHRIS CRAIN'S FATHER rose from Kroger bag boy to vice-president of the grocery behemoth, and, by God, it was no accident. When a man lives the strict Christian life, when he gives generously to Pat Robertson and keeps a traditional southern home and leads Boy Scouts and community groups, he can achieve the American dream. And so, of course, can his children.

The second of three children, Chris shone brightest of the perfect Crain offspring. By 1974, the fourth grader was a Boy Scout, a little gentleman of "yes, sir"s and "no, ma'am"s who made straight A's and was known to pals as "Crain-Brain."

Around the Crains' dinner table, talk was archconservative, and it was discussion without dissent. The Crain children were expected to trust in Christ and the Republican party, to set examples for other youngsters, and to attend church modestly dressed. They were not, despite their desires, to watch Happy Days or Laverne & Shirley, perfect examples of the extent to which profanity had infected family television. Sex talk, naturally, was impermissible in the Crain household, so when it came time at thirteen for Chris's birds-and-bees discussion, his parents instead gave him a book titled The Christian Approach to Sex, in which, he remembers, the author explained that "the penis fits into the vagina like a key into a keyhole." Chris wondered if a man therefore must turn his penis once it's inside, but it was a fleeting question. More important, he wondered why he couldn't stop thinking about touching another boy's penis. And he wondered this especially during prayer time in church, when the congregation closed its eyes and couldn't see him crying.

KIDS WHO PULL STRAIGHT A'S in grade school don't often scare teachers. But for all his smarts, Greg Giraldo couldn't focus in fifth grade, and it disturbed those in charge. The kid from Queens daydreamed about funny people, guys who made other guys laugh. How thrilling to live at a time when John Belushi roamed the earth! How glorious to be Mad magazine artist Don Martin and to invent words like thwap and glork! Watch the face of a kid in love with laughter it's not a face that soothes the schoolteacher's soul.

Mr. and Mrs. Giraldo were summoned to school and asked, Is something wrong at home? Is something troubling Greg? Nothing that we know of, the parents replied. And they returned home and asked Greg if there was something wrong. Not that I know of, he replied, and he returned to recording funny little thoughts in the journals he kept. Mom and Dad couldn't protest much Greg was a perfect student, the kind who might fulfill an immigrant parent's dream that he become a doctor or a lawyer, or, better yet, an Ivy League doctor or lawyer. Or, best yet, a Harvard doctor or lawyer.

A HARVARD LAW SCHOOL graduate could expect in 1960 to bill fifteen hundred hours a year at a major big-city law firm. In return, he was virtually certain to make partner in six years, share in the firm's profits, and enjoy a collegial, relaxed, lifetime position of prestige. His desk and office would be kept for him until he died, sometimes for years after, as a show of respect.

Today's Harvard Law School graduate can expect to bill twenty-two hundred hours a year, and often as many as twenty-four hundred. In return, he stands perhaps a one-in-eight chance at making partner after eight years, and even then he might not share profits. As a partner, he will never be allowed to relax if his revenues or hours drop, he will be invited to resign. When a Harvard Law School graduate fails to make partner, he is seen as the worst kind of failure by colleagues and prospective employers, because he entered with staggering advantages and promise. If he does make it to partner, then to retirement, no one will think to keep his desk around.

"Young Harvard lawyers are less content today than we were. They work harder, longer hours. They don't have the time to indulge themselves, to become Renaissance people. My classmates still believed that it was possible to go to plays--every night if we wished--to learn music, to have intellectual discourses. We led pretty decent lives in the law firms. Today, a Harvard Law graduate comes in conditioned to give up large parts of his life for a number of years. I don't know if it's a pretty decent life."

--samuel b. fortenbaugh iii, class of 1960, former managing partner at morgan, lewis & bockius, new york

"I have so much to say about this job. I have fantasies about leaving. There's not a day I don't think about buying a cabin somewhere and just leaving it all. But I can't do it. I'm a pussy. You know, we didn't get into Harvard Law School by taking chances. Most of us are conservative. Except that being conservative is fucking killing me. Now I have to be conservative again. I can't talk to you. I hope you find someone who will talk--God knows there's enough of us suffering out there. But knowing our class-.-.-.-well, good luck."

--anonymous no. 2, class of 1990, partner at a large east coast law firm

VICTOR'S MOTHER BELIEVED that only religion could save the world. Or if not the world, at least Victor. With her son in tow, she joined the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church, the Jehovah's Witnesses. During sermons she'd stand and shout, "I'm the woman! I'm the woman! My son is the chosen child! He must die!" And it embarrassed Victor, not because of what she said, but because the church elders always asked them to leave, and each time it felt more like Victor would never find a family. Maybe it was during church one day that Victor found that he stuttered, a stutter he worked hard to cure, a stutter about which he asks friends even today, "I've gotten rid of it, right?"

The teachers bright enough not to equate Victor's stutter with mental retardation realized that the withdrawn, always-hungry-for-lunch sixth grader was reading at college level. They saw to it that he skipped eighth grade. They enrolled him in Kennedy High School's law program, an eighth-floor safe haven for bright kids with leadership ability. To Victor, these teachers seemed clairvoyant. He knew from reading books that leaders were often lawyers, and he wanted nothing more than to be a leader.

Challenged academically and now in possession of a dream, Victor began pulling straight A's in high school, doing better than kids with supportive parents and plenty of food. He became his own father and mother during high school, finished second in the law program, and applied only to NYU, City College, and Manhattan College, three schools to which he could afford to commute. When the girl who finished third decided to attend Princeton, Victor wondered how she could afford bus fare to New Jersey. He chose NYU, which offered him full tuition.

At NYU, Victor majored in history, his first love, but he changed to philosophy because history textbooks were too expensive and in philosophy they'd debate a paragraph for a week, which was cheaper. When it came time to apply to law school, Victor had a 3.7 GPA and a lofty admissions-test score.

Harvard waived the application fee, then admitted Victor nearly as soon as they read his essay. In it, Victor said that he'd struggled in life but still wanted to be a leader. Congratulations, Harvard wrote Victor, we'd love to have you.

Victor decided to turn down Harvard Law School. Didn't see how he could afford bus fare all the way to Boston. His childhood friend Ben pleaded. Are you nuts, Victor? I'll drive you. For free, goddammit. Please, Victor, trust me. Victor still has the picture in his album. "Me and my friend," as Victor remembers it, "in August on the way to Cambridge."

BY SOPHOMORE YEAR in high school, Andrea was first in her class and duplicating the perfect math scores only the legendary Ricky and Lenny had achieved before her. By seventeen, Andrea had her pick of colleges. She chose Wellesley, the prestigious Massachusetts all-women school, because in addition to desiring first-rate academics, she felt she had become a little too defined by her penchant for boys (with whom she still got really ditsy), and it was time to get serious with life.

At Wellesley, Andrea began her push to change the world by running for various class offices. She was defeated each time as reality trumped ideals elections at Wellesley were popularity contests, and she was never popular enough. But Wellesley was still glorious to Andrea. She found a soul mate in a sociology professor, and their change-the-world talks would go on for hours. Does practice advance theory or vice versa? Just look at the Civil Rights Act of 1964--professors didn't do that! One night, after a long conversation and a good dozen cups of tea, they agreed that Andrea could do the most good for the world by changing practice, not theory. And that meant law school--the best goddamned law school you can find. Andrea used the essay portion of her application to inform Harvard Law School that she felt an obligation, a calling from her soul, to help people.

WHEN GOD IGNORES a teenager, who picks up the slack? Ashamed of his sexual fantasies, Chris willed himself to be the most perfect of young southern gentlemen, a straight-A nice guy who never smoked or sipped a beer and who dated girls but wouldn't take advantage. No homosexual behaved like that. Did those San Francisco weirdos in their mascara and leather cop uniforms go to church every Sunday and join Eagle Scouts and become editor of the high school newspaper and co-valedictorian? How many of them intended to marry a woman once God helped cure their perverted fantasies? Time, discipline, and more prayer, Chris resolved. In the meantime, he found himself developing a fire in his belly for journalism that almost made the world seem right.

At Vanderbilt, Chris joined the school newspaper, thrilled to the idea of muckraking, and rose quickly to editor in chief. Senior year, Chris began writing freelance for The Tennessean in Nashville, and his stories made the front page. He lost himself when he wrote time disappeared, and with it much of his inner agony.

During one college class that touched on the Constitution, the instructor employed the Socratic method, the famously intimidating teaching style of Harvard Law School. Chris fell in love with the challenge, decided then and there to apply to law school. Those who knew him considered it a splendid idea, except for another of his favorite professors, who told Chris that law school would stunt his ability to think and write creatively, which he viewed as Chris's true calling. Chris thought the comment odd law school was supposed to train a student to think and write, and besides, the whole world believed law school to be about the finest next step for a promising young man. When the thick envelope arrived from Harvard, that lone professor's words were already ancient history.

THE HIGHEST COMPLIMENT ever paid to Greg Giraldo came when his pals in Queens refused to believe he'd been admitted to Manhattan's prestigious Regis High School. We never knew you had a brain, they told their friend. We thought you were a fucking retard.

Once inside, Greg tore up the place. Shunning nerdiness, he pulled A's without losing his affection for the word fuck or his taste for the off-color joke. He read great literature, not because he was an egghead, but because Swift and Shakespeare were damn funny guys who knew how to construct a joke. His classmates dug his memory for Saturday Night Live dialogue, and they'll still tell you that his Eddie Murphy impressions were scary good. The Jesuits--great teachers, to Greg's mind--appreciated passion in a student, whatever the passion, so no one panicked about the joke-and-gag notebooks Greg continued to assemble. In a school where the graduates matriculated to Ivy League colleges as a matter of routine, Greg was getting Columbia University to commit to him early.

And Columbia would be great. Greg would live downtown, keep his friends, and enjoy the kind of life that comes with having the kind of non-dickwad, covertly cool brain that sneaks up on people.

Columbia proved to be no sweat he'd already read half the books assigned to English majors. Around junior year, he began to hear what many verbally talented college kids hear from well-meaning mentors: Go to law school if you're good with words and like to argue. Sounds good, Greg figured. And if I can get into Harvard Law School, I'll be rich to boot. Without studying a lick for the entrance exam, he scored in the 99th percentile, deity territory to those who cared about such things, which he didn't. He got the thick envelope from Harvard, and while he still had no clue what lawyers did for a living, he figured it was time to go out and make his parents proud.

ABOUT 80 PERCENT of incoming Harvard Law School students express a desire to practice public-interest law. After graduation, fewer than 5 percent work in that sector. This despite the school's offer to forgive the loans of students who take lower-income jobs.

Most students arrive at Harvard Law School having refused full scholarships from other law schools. Harvard Law School offers no merit scholarships it provided an average of just $9,700 last year in need-based aid, and then only to a quarter of its students. Tuition this year is $25,000 room, board, and fees, another $16,430. By graduation, many in the class will have incurred debts in excess of $120,000.

"A young lady recently said to me, 'I understand you graduated from Harvard Law School in 1940.' She wanted to know how much I made when I joined the firm. When I told her I earned $300 a month, she asked if I felt bad watching new lawyers in Chicago start at $90,000. Well, I told her, my tuition at Harvard Law School was $400 a year, and we paid as we went. Yours was $25,000 a year. When I graduated, no one owned me."

--stephen milwid, class of 1940, retired partner at lord, bissell and brook, chicago

"My dream is to become a clerk at Barnes & Noble. Not the manager or the guy who orders the books, but the lowliest clerk they've got. I've got the store picked out. I literally fantasize about this. I'm disappointed in myself. I'm not who I thought I would be. I thought I'd be doing something meaningful. Beyond that, I can't talk to you."

--anonymous no. 3, class of 1990, partner at a large east coast law firm

SATAN SENT VICTOR to law school, so his mother took what little money they had saved and flushed it down the toilet. Victor ate just cornflakes and water--then just water--for two weeks and lost twenty pounds. His first day at Harvard Law School, he asked the school for an emergency loan. When they asked why, he said he needed to eat. They thought he was joking.

By the end of the first day of classes, Victor stood in awe of his classmates. Never did he imagine that so many brilliant people could exist in one place. At NYU--a good school, to be sure--maybe half the people did the assigned reading. Here at HLS, everyone did the reading, and then everyone did the optional reading. Not ninety-nine out of one hundred, everyone. Though he was shy and didn't dare announce this aloud, he thought of ancient Greece when he thought about Harvard Law School, how the Greeks would assemble in central places to debate great ideas, and how every Greek was equal. And that's what Harvard Law School was to Victor--a magnificent idea center where all the students were equal, where Victor and the rich kids all had the same professors and the same health plans. When he was elected class representative during his first semester, Victor called it the happiest day of his life and dreamed of how wonderful it must feel to be a politician.

His first summer, Victor took a job with the New York City corporation counsel. The position sounded perfect--he'd deal with clients and gain real battlefield experience, benefits that reportedly didn't accrue to summer associates at big law firms. That the position turned into a twelve-week library-research project didn't sour Victor much he'd simply find more meaningful work next summer.

Victor began to groove academically during his second year. Local Government Law class resonated with him because it required a consideration of real people, not just dry facts. His second summer, he accepted a six-week public- interest gig with a Puerto Rican legal-defense fund, then flew to Ecuador to wage a six-week defense of abused kids. Latin American countries, he learned, didn't provide safety nets for hurting children the way the United States had provided welfare and food stamps and foster homes for Victor.

Third year is for chilling at Harvard Law School. Students load up on electives, join clubs, hang out. Mostly, they select careers. Standing in line during fall registration, Victor decided that it was time to lock in a job offer and to give the big Manhattan law firms a try. He made his way to Career Services, asked to see the list of New York firms conducting on-campus interviews, and signed his name to the best of them.

BY THE TIME SHE walked onto the Harvard Law School campus in 1987, Andrea was already a civil-rights attorney in her heart the next three years would simply formalize the arrangement. So what if jaded back-row assholes snickered at the indignation she whipped up just by raising her hand? She always made her point, and her point was always to change the world.

Harvard Law School uses B as a default grade a student must perform spectacularly to get an A, or spectacularly badly to get a C. Andrea got mostly A's her first year, and that's even after she raised money for abortion-rights action programs and labored for the Women's Law Association. While her classmates drifted to lucrative summer party jobs in June, Andrea accepted six dollars an hour from outgoing professor Clare Dalton to research midwifery. Andrea found midwifery interesting, but Dalton had just been ousted by a faction of the HLS faculty, and Andrea found that unjust.

Second year, more A's, more good works. Andrea made her mark at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau doing poverty law, and she found herself fighting--in her spare time--for various young mothers, an older mentally disturbed woman with housing problems, and three children involved in a messy divorce. Still, she took a big-dollar, big-firm job during her second summer because she needed the money, and it was only fair to check out that side of the law. But the partners were on to her they could tell that Andrea's heart wasn't in helping corporations. They didn't extend her an offer, a failure unheard of for a second-year from Harvard. Andrea told them they were right about her, then made herself a perfect third-year at HLS by advocating for the downtrodden. She greeted June 7, 1990--graduation day--as the first day of the rest of a life well led.

ONE OPINION EXISTS at Harvard Law School, and that is the liberal opinion. Others are hissed until they turn silent. No member of the Class of '90 suffered the hiss more than Chris. First week at school, he used girl instead of woman and was hissed. In class, he said that homosexuals could become heterosexual. Big hiss. Harvard shouldn't subsidize do-gooding students, the death penalty deters, prisons aren't too harsh. Hiss, hiss, hiss. Famed crim-law professor Charles Ogletree took to calling Chris "Crime-Control Crain," because here was the only guy who had the stones to wax conservative. Many men branded Chris a fascist many women thought him a sexist pig. If anyone was perfectly suited for big-firm life, Chris decided, it was him. The money, prestige, challenging work, contact with movers and shakers--could life be better? He split his first summer between blue-blood firms in Atlanta and Nashville, got full-time employment offers from each.

Set for life, Chris returned to Harvard Law School and availed himself of the school's myriad extracurricular activities. None rewarded him so much as editing the Harvard Law Record, where he was delighted to find that his newspaper instincts hadn't atrophied. He made the Record so fresh, so provocative, that it won the American Bar Association award for best law-school newspaper. Chris's editorial--a plea to the HLS student body to be more civil in conversation--won top honors, too. The secret of the paper's success? All I'm doing, he'd tell people, is re-creating the best job I've ever had, editor of the college newspaper. By graduation, Chris had agreed to a yearlong clerkship for an ultraconservative Atlanta judge, then planned to join Covington & Burling, an old-line D. C. law firm. He still wrestled with concerns about doing the work of a real lawyer, and he still wasn't right with God. But he was a Harvard Law School graduate, and things always were supposed to work out for them.

MR. AND MRS. GIRALDO delivered Greg to Cambridge full of hopes and dreams, but without the right clothes. Harvard Law School was throwing a get-acquainted cocktail party the first night, and the Queens kid had never had occasion to dress for splendor. Greg scoured the town for what he assumed to be the staple of high-fashion evening wear--the blue blazer. That he purchased one with zippers was not to embarrass him for a full four hours, since the party didn't start until eight.

The law-school social scene never stopped being bizarre to him. HLS would plan boat rides or nickel-beer Thursdays or L. A. Law Night at the pub, events that were supposed to break the ice but that, to Greg, just sucked indescribably--"in the deepest way," he'd tell buddies back home. Everyone was so used to being perfect, so sheltered, that they hadn't a clue about the real world, it seemed.

The legal minutiae Greg expected to be de rigueur at Harvard Law School never materialized. Professors concerned themselves instead with sweeping issues of grand importance, about the role of society and the responsibility of citizens, and it thrilled Greg. Never the "gunner" type to shoot his hand up in class, he lived in the back rows during the first weeks of school, marveling at his classmates' intellectual might. There were no chinks in the armor here. A student might sit for six weeks without uttering a peep, praying to be ignored. Then the professor would pick that student's name at random from the seating chart, whereupon that student would launch into a multilayered explanation of the difference between Kant's and Spinoza's conceptions of free will. Greg had long ago mastered the art of skating through school on brainpower alone. But this wasn't school. Here, among titans, he decided to commit 100 percent to his studies. Any less and he'd drown.

Greg pulled a B-plus average the first year, then landed a sweet summer gig with a small Manhattan litigation firm. The little work he was assigned worried him, though. The law wasn't majestic in these offices the way it was at Harvard Law School. Cases seemed petty, one corporation trying to fuck another corporation. Greg chalked up his reaction to immaturity. He'd never had to buckle down--things had always come easy. Snap out of it and grow up, he'd tell himself. It's time to become an adult. Not everything needs to be fun.

Greg pep-talked himself back to Harvard Law School. Just grow up and you'll want to be an attorney, he repeated as if it were a mantra, but his soul wasn't buying it. He remembered the weariness on the faces of the lawyers who took him to lunch to recruit him.

Back in Cambridge, Greg bought prepackaged outlines to cram for finals in classes he wasn't bothering to attend. Money became a primary motivator. The firms paid a shitload of money, and he intended to keep the promise he'd made to his parents when he was seven--a restaurant for his father, shiny dresses for his mother.

Second summer--another fancy Manhattan firm. His duties: Attend Mets games, eat four-star lunches, collect $1,750 weekly paychecks. As in the previous summer, his few real assignments struck him as meaningless. Every day, Greg toyed with the idea of dropping out. Every time, his conclusion was the same: Grow the hell up. Become an adult. You'll love this stuff.

Standing in line to register for third-year classes, Greg found a buddy and compared summer notes. Listen to this, Greg said. A recruiter tried to sell me on his firm. You know what he uses as his closer, the thing to seal the deal? He tells me, "We really encourage associates to have a life here. I'm taking a tax class at NYU and I can leave work at 7:30 p.m. two days a week, and no one says boo!" Greg and his buddy traded jokes about the kind of guy who says, "no one says boo," but neither of them was laughing much inside. Third year was a cakewalk, then Greg took a job even most Harvard students couldn't get, with Manhattan's Skadden Arps, one of the most prestigious, highest-paying law firms in the world. I'm going to grow up there, Greg told himself. I'm going to give it everything I've got.

LAST YEAR, a Harvard Law graduate and Notre Dame law professor named Patrick Schiltz published an article in the Vanderbilt Law Review on overwork, depression, suicide, mental illness, and general misery in the law. In it, he cited a recent survey of the 125 largest firms in the country that found that one third of the partners in these firms, lawyers at the very top of their profession, would choose a different career if they had it to do again.

But life at work used to be simpler--give me fifty years of your life, I'll give you a gold watch. Employers and employees never discussed "soul-searching" or "spiritual crisis" the words would have been gibberish to them. "Have a good weekend, Phil." "Thanks, Jerry." That was the language of American work. No whining.

And Harvard doesn't earn its reputation by turning out only sensitive types. The place also breeds the legal assassin, the guy born to the law, the guy who will die in the law. He doesn't understand all this crying:

"Harvard Law students are whiners. They're removed from reality. They thought the Harvard Law crown would stay on their heads forever, then they get into the soup and their problems don't go away, and it hurts.

"Law is a brutal business. A lot of it is a devil's bargain. But I love it I love my job. This whole crisis-of-the-soul thing should be addressed before law school. I spent three years in Nepal, I spoke Nepalese, and I explored my soul so much that when I got to Harvard Law School, I couldn't wait to practice law. Explore your soul before you go to school and you won't wonder so much."

--peter gilhuly, class of 1990, partner in transactional bankruptcy at latham & watkins, los angeles

"I loved my time at Wachtell. I worked among some of the smartest people in the world doing some of the best work. It was an intellectual feast. Working for David Stern was similar, because he has the same kind of standards, and those standards make legal work beautiful. It never crushed my soul to work to such a high standard, to strive for perfection. In ways, I miss it every day."

--george postolos, class of 1990, chief operating officer, houston rockets former attorney for wachtell, lipton, new york

"I know you're supposed to hate working in a law firm. I'm sorry, I don't hate it. Law is not an easy career, but it can be tremendously satisfying, and it satisfies me. I hear classmates complaining, but it's not just law that's doing this to people. There are enormous demands across the workplace. Where do people think they're going find ideal jobs? Look at teachers. They'll tell you what I'm telling you. Work is hard these days."

--george marek, class of 1990, partner in environmental law, quarles & brady, milwaukee

"Law-firm practice is a phenomenal opportunity. But you have to take the initiative, like with most things in life. I work extremely hard. I'm a lawyer it's a labor- intensive business. I wish it took less time, but that's not the way the world works.

"I don't know what 'soul-crushing' means. I've never viewed my work that way. The client has a deadline and I get mov-ing. I love it."

--lance t. brasher, class of 1990, partner in project finance, skadden arps, washington, d. c.

At first, Victor says, the big-firm interviewers loved him, laughed at his jokes, nodded when he compared Harvard Law School to ancient Greece. Many had attended NYU as undergrads and were happy to be with one of their kind. But during each interview, they would ask him, Don't you love this trendy café in the Village, or that chic French restaurant in SoHo? This, Victor thought, was the critical "one of us" question, the only thing a firm really wonders about a Harvard grad: Can we hang with this guy?

Every HLS class, it seems, has the few oddballs who do the impossible and convince interviewers to run like hell. In the class of 1990, it was the Orthodox Jewish woman who, as per her religion, wore wigs and wouldn't shake a man's hand, the hippie with the butt-length ponytail, and Victor the big firms judged them to be social retards. These firms look past many flaws, but they don't abide retards.

And it's impossible to say exactly what does it. Maybe Victor should have pretended he'd been to those fancy restaurants. Instead, he told his interviewers that he'd grown up on welfare and had never had the money to go anywhere nice. Hmmm. Partners don't want associates talking like that around clients. Then the interviewer would review Victor's summer law experience--all random, quixotic even--and see that it didn't really indicate a man on the move, no rainmaker here. And the interviewer's face would change. Soon, he would ask to see Victor's Law School Admissions Test score, big-firm code for "No, thanks."

Victor turned numb after interviews. Law spoke to him, even if its fanciest representatives had abandoned him. After graduation, he straightened his tie, neatened his résumé, then set out to apply for paralegal jobs, legal-secretary jobs, any job that would place him near the law. Prospective employers delighted in Victor's comportment the job was his until their fingers traced down to the part of his résumé that said Harvard Law School, 1990. Then they asked Victor, Are you kidding? Is this a joke? And Victor couldn't get into law.

Riding the subway in Harlem, Victor spotted a poster--become a teacher. He tore off a slip and followed the map to the Board of Education, where he stood in line with thousands of hopefuls, because he was $70,000 in debt and needed a job. When he learned that the line was four days long, he jumped back on the subway to Kennedy High, his alma mater, where he tracked down a teacher who had put an arm around him once. I want to be a teacher, Victor told him. When the man asked why a Harvard Law School graduate wanted to teach high school, Victor said it was because he'd been rejected. The school hired Victor on the spot.

Kennedy students could be rough and occasionally threw a punch at Victor, but he never backed down, because if you back down, they'll own you. He earned $25,000, plus a small bonus for his advanced degree. When the smart kids asked what a Harvard Law School graduate was doing teaching inner-city high school, Victor just told them that he'd had problems. He stayed on at Kennedy for a second semester, then a second year, then four more years. All the while, he told himself, Wait for your spot, Victor, wait for your spot. Law can still work for you. The Harvard Law degree can still work for you. Wait for your spot.

One day, Victor ran a red light in front of a cop who wasn't interested in explanations. That disturbed Victor's sense of justice, and he circled the calendar day when he'd have the chance to defend himself. In traffic court, Victor noticed that only one or two attorneys defended the dozens of foreign cabdrivers waiting to see the judge, and he could hear the fees these guys were charging--outrageous, because Victor lived among these cabbies and knew that they couldn't afford to pay $150 for such trivial representation. This was Victor's spot.

He took a leave of absence from teaching, then found every taxi base in his community and hung signs promising to represent cabbies for a fair price. Traffic tickets, he knew, was the lowest rung of the legal ladder--gutter law, he called it--but he was coming alive he sensed that he might start loving being a lawyer the way he imagined he would during that first day in Contracts class ten years before.

Fifty bucks a case, and Victor never rushed a client. Chopped the legs out from under the shysters and made enemies at traffic court. "What the fuck is Harvard Law doing here?" his competition mumbled loudly. "If I had a Harvard Law degree, this shithole is the last place you'd find me." Here's the part you don't understand, Victor would think to himself. I grew up alone. I didn't have a family. Do you see how these drivers look at me? The way they listen to me? The way they thank me? I'm their family. They have no one, and I know that feeling. Next year, Victor will run for City Council, where he can do real good for his family. He'll be the underdog. He's preparing his campaign today, on the subways between traffic tickets, on the subways where he still thinks about his classmates, the ones at the big law firms making all that money, wondering if their successes are so immediate, their satisfactions so tangible, whether their clients cry when they win a case.

Third year was mostly joy for Andrea at Harvard Law School. She was made for electives like Employment Law and Family Law, courses that hinged on fairness and confirmed that she was meant to serve the public good. Only the public good wasn't so keen to serve Andrea. While classmates locked in full-time jobs, various agencies, fellowships, and associations "dinged" Andrea until she was punchy. Just before sleep, Andrea questioned whether she had demonstrated true commitment to public service. She'd taken that job at the law firm last summer that's not what other civil-rights-minded students had done. She'd studied midwifery first summer, but what's that got to do with civil rights? By graduation, she found herself agreeing to move to Connecticut so her physicist husband could attend his preferred graduate school, and she wondered whether real civil-rights champions moved to Connecticut for this reason.

But Andrea's husband could never earn enough to keep Andrea in her dreams. His salaries--$10,000, $11,000--wouldn't support two kids and a foster child and a wife with do-gooding desires. Andrea took a job teaching legal writing at the University of Bridgeport law school and spent her spare time working for a pro-choice organization.

After her teaching contract expired, Andrea signed on with New Haven's biggest law firm doing commercial litigation for $60,000 a year. Driving home from work, she repeated this to herself: I'm learning skills, I'm making friends. But when it came time to write a hello to Harvard Law School classmates in the fifth-reunion directory, she found herself using the phrase "So much for visions of changing the world . . ." Here she was, needing to support a family and a student husband and drowning in student loans, and the burdens of life, of reality, were killing her dreams. She thought about erasing those words--why bum people out? But she was losing herself, losing ambition, and when you lose ambition you don't have the energy to hide the truth. She mailed in the comment and they printed it, and some who read those words remembered Andrea as naïve and immature, the way Andrea was starting to remember herself.

Postdoctoral work called Andrea's husband back to Boston in 1995. He'd be earning $33,000 a year, still not enough to subsidize a public-interest-law career. This time, she took a job with a premier Boston firm for $100,000 and adjusted her thinking. Lives have different paths, she figured. I can make a difference on a smaller level, through charitable donations, by recruiting people to my synagogue. I can coach my son's soccer team. But no matter what Andrea told herself, she still ached when she saw women on television who made a difference. Those women, she knew, weren't worrying about baking cranberry bread and coaching their sons' soccer teams.

Last year, Andrea burned out at the big Boston firm and quit. A friend told her about a more relaxed place where she could practice litigation three days a week, and she took the job, which she holds today. She still looks in that reunion directory every now and again, sees the positions of power held by so many of her classmates. And she thinks, I was as smart as any of them. I had their promise. And she says, "You know that saying 'Man makes plans and God laughs'?" Then she reminds herself that at least she's on her first marriage and has two fantastic children, and she allows the word rationalization into her thoughts for only a moment before she unloads the groceries and calls the kids in for dinner.

This had to happen. Chris met a guy at a gym, invited him to dinner. During the meal, the man confided that he was gay. Chris spilled his guts. I'm gay, too. I think I've always been gay. Here are my fantasies, my prayers, my history. He told the man that when he was clerking, he cried in the judge's office because he couldn't keep pretending to be someone else. Chris was twenty-five years old until that night, he had never breathed a word to anyone about who he really was. He remembers that the man didn't laugh at him. Today, he calls that dinner "a moment."

Now Chris was gay. He worked for the judge and dated the gym man for seven months, then made good on his commitment to Covington & Burling, D. C.'s old-line firm. The Covington partners embraced their new associate, welcomed him without prejudice, then piled his desk high with work. Only now those piles looked different to Chris. Without a raging secret to displace, a secret that had found expression in every A he'd ever pulled and every award he'd ever won, Chris discovered that he no longer cared about the problems of Corporation A or Conglomerate B. Those piles of work were intended for Crime-Control Crain, but he was nowhere to be found. After Chris fell in love with a man named Dale during Thanksgiving break in Memphis, the couple decided to pick a town and move in together. They settled on Atlanta. The short career of Chris Crain, Washington power broker and attorney, was over.

Chris took a position with a prestigious Atlanta law firm while he decided what he really wanted to do. He had admired The Washington Blade, D. C.'s gay newspaper, saw in it the kind of tabloid-type, muckraking sensibility that had thrilled him when he'd edited the high school, Vanderbilt, and Harvard Law School newspapers. Someday, a talented person will build a chain of quality gay newspapers, he thought, one that will push for civil rights and ask the tough questions of America's leadership. This was his thinking when he heard a rumor that the publisher of the Southern Voice, Atlanta's gay newspaper, wanted out.

Chris made the phone calls, but it was Harvard Law School that opened the heavy oak doors of Atlanta's important gay businessmen. The degree made Chris credible to them, and these businessmen, strangers to Chris, wrote him checks until he co-owned the Southern Voice and made himself its editor, copublisher, and editorial writer. He quit law the same day he signed the papers. Circulation jumped, ad rates grew, and within a year Chris owned two more gay papers, one in Houston, the other in New Orleans. His dream was building steam.

Mr. and Mrs. Crain do not accept Chris's lifestyle. They ask only about his two beagles, never about the newspapers or Dale, whom they refuse to meet. Chris's father hates that Chris quit law, can't fathom that someone would waste a Harvard Law degree. Chris says it's embarrassing to admit, but during the times he feels most challenged, he starts wearing his Harvard Law School class ring. "Not so anyone can see me," he says, "but in my office, with the door closed. I look at it, and it makes me feel better."

New suit, new attitude. Greg showed up at Skadden Arps determined to grow up and knock 'em dead. Then they handed him two hundred documents and told him to close a real estate deal. He studied the documents, the fine print, the hereins and the wherefores. Each was uniquely necessary to the deal, and each looked so goddamned identical that he wondered if God was playing a cruel joke on him. He was earning $87,000 a year as a glorified clerk. No one at Harvard Law School during those discussions on the nature of man and society had bothered to mention that you needed to be a clerk to do this job.

Greg brought his improved attitude to closings but always managed to forget or misplace critical documents. One partner--he'll never forget the look she gave him--asked, "What are you thinking? Who are you?" He left that closing crushed, defeated in a way he'd never known. This work was doable, yet he couldn't get himself to care about monolithic companies trying to fuck each other for another dollar a square foot. His dreams to get rich and provide for his parents, to make them proud, were going to shit. The only decent thing in his life, he thought, was the comedy writing he'd been scribbling in notebooks--fanciful, escapist stuff he thought might work on Saturday Night Live or even onstage. But Skadden Arps didn't pay for nonsense like that.

Snowed under a mountain of documents one evening at work, Greg reached into his bottom desk drawer and found that notebook of jokes. This is insane, he thought, paging through Back Stage for the listing of clubs that sponsored open-mike nights. Later that night, and nights after, people laughed at material he'd written, which Greg figured to be about the greatest feeling in the world. He became acquainted with an important moment, the moment that happens when you're doing what you're meant to be doing. Not long after, he quit the law. Once people laugh at your jokes, he thought, there's no doing law.

Greg moved back into his parents' home and took odd jobs to support his comedy. He helped a director move offices once, even agreed to polish the guy's trophies. Sitting on the ground with a pail of borax and a bunch of rags, Greg thought to himself, I graduated from Harvard Law School. What am I doing with a pail of borax? Then he thought about those piles of legal documents, and he made those trophies shine.

A comedian like Ray Romano or Jerry Seinfeld works ten, fifteen years before he gets a shot at a sitcom, and then only if he's lucky. Greg had been doing stand-up for three years when ABC offered him a prime-time show. The program, Common Law, would star Greg as a hippie-ish Harvard lawyer who, despite being trapped in a major law firm, needed to be true to himself. The network promoted the hell out of the show, plastered Greg's mug on every McDonald's place mat in the country. Greg is correct when he says that the show sucked. The acting, the writing, Greg's hair--it all sucked. ABC canceled Common Law after four episodes.

Saturday night, just after the millennium, Manhattan's sold-out Comedy Cellar. Greg Giraldo is featured this evening. "Direct from his own ABC sitcom, Politically Incorrect, and NBC's Later show, please put your hands together for Greg Giraldo!" Lots of applause, then Greg launches into his gay-bodybuilder routine. Later, near the end of his set, he ponders why courts recently awarded a man millions of dollars for scalding his genitals in a defective shower. "That's a hell of a way to test the water," he says, thrusting his pelvis into an imaginary stream of boiling shower water. The crowd eats it up and stands to cheer for Greg, who will be playing Milwaukee next week, if you happen to be there.

Shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School, I joined a major Chicago law firm. Like many of my classmates, I didn't want to be there. Like many of my classmates, children of single-career fathers who never whimpered about happiness, I figured I'd tough it out.

At least the firm took us to baseball games, and early on I was invited to join some partners in the firm's Comiskey Park luxury box. The Sox were playing the Indians, Greg Hibbard versus Tom Candiotti. Comiskey Park luxury boxes feature two rows of movie-theater-style seats and a roomy lounge area. Talk during the early innings that evening was of Corporation A and Conglomerate B. No one sat in the seats to watch the game. Early in the game, a White Sox hitter fouled off a Candiotti knuckleball, and damn if it wasn't whistling our way. The ball flew into our box and lodged under the first row of seats.

My breeding kicked in. I lunged under the seats, scrambling and flailing until I snagged the ball. I jumped up and raised the ball triumphantly, as a baseball fan does instinctively. My white shirt was blotched black with grease, my tie a horror. All I could see was that none of the lawyers had made a move for the ball, and none were approaching to slap me a high-five. Taking my seat, I wondered if I hadn't hurt myself politically at the firm, just weeks into the rest of my life. As I fingered the baseball, clutched it, really, a different thought came to me: What happened to the days when I had the world by the balls? What happened to the days when I was golden? A couple months later, I quit the law.


When you step into the spotlight as young as Zendaya did (she was barely a teen when she landed the role of Rocky Blue on Shake It Up), your "look" can become synonymous with who you are. For years, Zendaya straightened her naturally curly hair to align with her public image. "Growing up, I wasn't very confident in my curls," she told People StyleWatch (via Mic). "It wasn't like the hair that girls around me had. And nobody really knew what to do with my hair."

Fast forward to January 2017, and The Greatest Showman star shared insight into her natural hair journey: "When you've spent the past however many years growing your damaged hair back, avoiding heat, wearing wigs and trying every natural product in the world and you finally see a little curl pattern comin back," Zendaya wrote on Instagram, underscoring the sentiment with multiple praise hands emojis. In the time since, she's rocked it everywhere from award shows to movie premieres, and often doles out advice on caring for natural black hair.


That didn't keep him from staying active, in spite of doctor's orders.

Just days before his death, Trotter flew to and from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to speak at a culinary conference.

Nothing seemed particularly unusual about Trotter during that appearance, but one audience member did notice that the chef's left hand was shaking slightly as he held the microphone.

Well-respected: Trotter won 10 coveted James Beard awards including the humanitarian award last year

Friends: Chef Anthony Bourdain (center left) and his wife Ottavia (right) hugs Trotter and his wife Rochelle Smith (center right) at a food event in Miami in February of last year

Rest In Peace Charlie Trotter. A giant. A legend. Treated shabbily by a world he helped create. My thoughts go out to those who loved him.

— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 5, 2013

We've lost a tremendous human being & a visionary chef, my brother, Charlie Trotter. It’s a very sad day. My heart goes out to his family.

— Emeril Lagasse (@Emeril) November 5, 2013

The chef's wife Rochelle was seen by neighbors screaming and crying hysterically as ambulances arrived at their home after Trotter's son Dylan found his father unconscious.

'He was much loved and words cannot describe how much he will be missed,' she said in a statement.

'His impact upon American cuisine and the culinary world at large will always be remembered.'

Multi-course tasting menus that are now seen on many fine dining establishments were his handiwork, as he traded the 10-course menu at his flagship restaurant on a daily basis and boasted that frequent customers never had the same thing twice.

He had a great influence on both the local and national food scene, one that many expect to be felt for years to come.

Passed: Charlie Trotter's body, seen here in August 2012, was discovered by his son in their Chicago home

Wine was a passion for Trotter, and when asked at the event in Jackson Hole what he would like for his final meal, he said he wanted only the best: a bottle of 1900 Chateau Margaux, a wine that costs up to $16,000.

During an interview when he decided to close his restaurant, he revealed his grand plans for what would happen to his restaurant's 26,000-strong wine cellar after it closed last year.

'I did a mathematical calculation: If I live to the average life expectancy of the American male — 78.9 — and I consume one bottle of wine every day, I should consume the last bottle on my last day on this planet,' he said in an interview with The New York Times.

Personality and traits

His first potion class with Harry and the rest of the students, where he lecturers Harry in front of the class for "not paying attention" when he was taking notes

A complicated, withdrawn person, Severus Snape's life was overwhelmed with many complex emotions that he never fully disclosed. At times, Snape could appear cold, cynical, malicious, bitter, and sarcastic. He had a commanding presence that exuded gravitas, authority and control like Professor McGonagall, he had the ability to keep a class quiet without effort. He tended to hold grudges and was extremely spiteful toward those whom he disliked. In particular, he disdained Gryffindor students, considering them to be arrogant and attention-seeking. Descriptions of his social interactions as a child suggest that he had poor interpersonal skills and that he may have suffered from depression.

Snape's brand of class discipline toward Gryffindors

Snape was a repressed, solitary man with no friends. In his early life, he was insecure, vulnerable, and yearned to be part of something better. As a child, the bleak normality of working-class suburbia compounded with his neglectful Muggle father inspired in him a contempt for ordinariness. This urgent desire to be a part of something powerful and important was what drew him to Lord Voldemort's inner circle. Snape's bitterness and resentment towards the world was exacerbated even more by the relentless bullying he endured in school, causing him to shut himself in even more. Snape was not a prejudiced individual despite the Death Eater beliefs of pure-blood superiority, but was rather against Muggles, presumably because of his sour experience with both his father and Petunia Evans, but held no ill-will towards Muggle-borns. The foundation of him scolding Lily Evans by calling her Mudblood was to not appear weak in front of his fellow Death Eater students than actual supremacist views. He also deeply regretted this as it was what ended his friendship with Lily and defended Hermione Granger when Phineas Nigellus Black called her Mudblood, his manner of speaking in this instance being uncharacteristically explosive and filled with more emotion than he normally displayed.

Snape threatens Harry after an Occlumency lesson

He was an intensely private individual who viewed emotional displays as a sign of shameful weakness. As an Occlumens, Snape had superb emotional control and was adept at concealing his thoughts and feelings, which allowed him to maintain his cold, collected demeanour. However, he had his limits, and was not incapable of losing his temper, particularly when it came to dealing with Harry Potter. Inevitably, he also became furious when he thought he was being pitied or accused of cowardice.

Snape was a formidable sorcerer, displaying consummate skill in many different branches of magic. His extensive knowledge and abilities were rivalled by very few, if any other witches and wizards of his age. Snape was also unusually cerebral for a wizard, possessing a subtle and keenly analytical mind. As a result, Snape was extremely intelligent and calculative, with a mind for strategy and deduction. He was also a profound misanthrope who appeared to have a prominent hatred of almost every child under his tutelage, except of course for Slytherins. He valued logic and cunning above magical power.

Snape slapping Ron Weasley over the head with a book for laughing

As a professor, Snape was known for his cavalier and harshly authoritarian attitude towards his teaching. His standards for his classes were much higher than that of the other professors, as he only allowed students with the very best grades to continue into advanced study. As Potions Master, he described it as an art and an exact science, and dismissed the use of incantations and wand waving as "silly and foolish". He developed a loving passion for Dark Arts, originally in the hopes to cover the shame of his heritage, and his interest in it led him to repeatedly apply for the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor post every year, despite being rejected for sixteen years. He knew full well why Dumbledore never granted him the position, as it may be a trigger to bring out his worst side, something he denied to Umbridge's questioning but let in to those of Bellatrix's. When he finally got his wish, Snape taught the course with a loving caress in his voice, far beyond simply respecting the Dark Arts as a dangerous foe, something he did not show in his post as the Potions Master. He also taught this class slightly fairer than he did in Potions, such as lowering his entrance standards and biases for N.E.W.T. level classes, allowing more students to enter the advanced studies of his favourite class, and placed students from his own house, such as Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, in detention for failing to do acceptable work the second time around after failing their O.W.L. the previous year.

Snape showing Dumbledore his true and undying love for Lily Potter

Ultimately, it was Snape's past and his love for Lily Evans that defined his inner being. His love for Lily Evans became most noticeable by his Patronus a Doe, just like Lily's. Upon overhearing the Prophecy, he immediately informed his then-master of its contents, unaware that this would endanger Lily and her family. It was only after Lily's death that Snape realised the full extent of his actions. He suffered terrible remorse for what he had done and spent the rest of his life in constant danger in order to protect Lily's son.

In spite of his vindictive demeanour, Severus Snape was an immensely brave man who possessed a deep capacity for love. Everything that he did in the latter part of his life was motivated by his devotion to Lily Evans, whom he loved unconditionally. He was one of Dumbledore's most reliable allies and in his role as a double agent, took great personal risk in ensuring Harry's safety from Lord Voldemort. Despite his years of him and Harry barely getting along, if at all, Snape openly criticised Dumbledore after learning he protected Harry all these years just so he could die at the right time due to being a Horcrux, showing he didn't agree with Harry's death even though, at first, he only protected him because of his relationship to Lily. When he informed Dumbledore that he informed Voldemort of the prophecy, Snape begged Dumbledore to hide Harry, Lily, and even James too. This clearly showed that Snape prioritised Lily's happiness above all else, even if it meant her being with a man he hated for most of his life.

Despite his coldness towards all but Lily, Snape nevertheless proved capable of genuinely caring for others apart from Lily and Harry. He showed that despite his mistreatment of them, he cared considerably for the students of Hogwarts, risking his façade for them by secretly doing everything he can to make sure they stayed out of harm's way and at one point being genuinely concerned when a student was taken to the Chamber of Secrets. Additionally, Snape was also genuinely saddened by the death of Rowan Khanna, his face just as mournful as the rest of the other House Heads, and if Rowan were in Slytherin, Snape even went as far as to plead with Merula to stop being angry and comfort them with the prospect of standing together in the face of crisis. While he initially resented Dumbledore for his lack of intervention on his torturous bullying by the Marauders, it seemed the time he spent allying with Dumbledore had made him grow to genuinely as well as greatly respect and even care for him, as shown by how he was clearly shocked into being silent for a long time after Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him, clearly indicated that killing Dumbledore was hard for him to do and tried to make him have Draco kill him instead of having Snape do it. Even after learning of how Dumbledore had wanted Harry to die so Voldemort can be defeated, when preparing to kill Dumbledore, his face was described as being genuinely hateful and disgusted of what he was about to do.

Despite Snape's normally calm and controlled exterior and guarded body language, he was in possession of an extraordinarily explosive and almost psychotic temper. This was rarely seen, but an extreme display of rage was most prominently witnessed after Snape killed Dumbledore and was confronted outside of Hagrid's burning house near the edge of the school grounds. The event that triggered this unhinged manifestation of Snape's unrestrained wrath was Harry's accusation of Snape being a coward for killing Dumbledore.

Due to the many years of being bullied by Harry's father, and with a need to both vent his immense stress and maintain his cover as a loyal Death Eater, Snape unleashed a terrifying mix of both his emotions and magic in his duel with Harry, taking great pleasure in torturing and punishing the son of his enemy. Unlike in the past where he spoke quietly in his anger, Snape in this instance was screaming and letting so much out, as well as confessing his identity of the Half-Blood Prince to Harry who had attempted to use one of Snape's own invented spells against him. This battle showed Snape's repressed rage in its horrific glory and power. Suffice it to say, Severus Snape was not a man who it was wise to provoke, lest one incur his almost elemental wrath and magical power.


The movie starts out in a forest, watching a deer at a pool of water. Something is hunting the deer, but we're not shown what. Suddenly, it realizes there is something there and takes off. A few seconds later, a dark, shadowy figure takes the deer down.

Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is shown on top of a hill potting a small cactus for her to take with her. Her voice-over explains that she is moving away from her eccentric mother and stepfather to allow them alone time while he travels with his minor league baseball team. Her mom tells her that she doesn't have to go to Forks, but Bella says it is okay and she wants to.

Bella's voice-over continues as we drive across a bridge into Forks, a small town with a population of a little over 3000 in it. She introduces her dad, Charlie, and the setting: the place in the U.S. that gets the most rain and cloud coverage than any other city and a place she only spent two-weeks each summer. They pull up to Charlie's place and unload her things from the police cruiser (Charlie is the police chief) and he takes her stuff up to her room saying he's cleared off a shelf in the bathroom for her ("Oh yeah, one bathroom" she says). The room has all of her old stuff and art supplies in it. He explains that he just had someone pick out new bedding for her ("You like purple, right?" "Yeah, purple's nice. "). They stand awkwardly for a moment before he excuses himself and Bella's voice-over says that one of the good things about Charlie is that he doesn't hover.

The next scene introduces Billy Black and his son Jacob as they drop off a truck for Bella. Charlie bought it from them, and Jacob rebuilt the engine, so he shows her the ropes on it, telling her the little tricks she'll have to remember to shift, etc. She asks if he needs a ride to school. He says no, he goes to school on the reservation (he is a Quilette Indian). She nods, and then heads off to school where she is starting her first day in the middle of March. She tries to go in unnoticed, but Erik Yorkie catches up to her and introduces himself. He jokes with her that he can show her the ropes, make lunch dates, etc., and she politely declines, saying she prefers to suffer in silence. He kids that he is going to do a special article on her in the school newspaper and she sort of freaks at that and tells him not to. In gym class, she sucks at playing volleyball and totally nails a kid named Mike Newton in the back of the head. She goes up and apologizes, and he uses the moment to flirt with her. She is obviously not interested, but another girl who jogs up, Jessica, definitely wants Mike to be interested in her, so she flirts a little bit and is fake nice to Bella. During lunch, another girl, Angela, snaps a picture of Bella saying it is for the article in the school paper, but Erik says there won't be one, Mike flirts a bit more, and another kid (Tyler) comes up and steals Mike's chair. Jessica uses the opportunity to scoot up closer to Bella, blocking Mike from sitting closer to Bella again.

Enter: the Cullens. Through the window to the cafeteria the Cullens are seen walking into the room. Bella asks who they are, and Jessica dishes on them: The Cullens are Dr. Cullen's foster kids. The blond is Rosalie, the shorthaired guy is Emmet. And it is weird and creepy that they are "together" because they all live in the same house, even if they aren't really related. The next girl is Alice, and she's really weird, and she's with Jasper. Jessica calls Dr. Cullen a matchmaker, and Angela says she wishes Dr. Cullen would adopt her. In comes Edward (Robert Pattinson), and Jessica tells Bella to not even bother because he doesn't date because obviously none of the girls here are good enough for him. Bella says that wasn't even her intention, and looks at Edward. He looks sort of angry as he looks back at her, so she looks away.

Off to Biology class, and Bella walks in, sees Edward staring at her, and walks right in front of a fan that blows her smell his way. He looks absolutely sick, like he's trying not to puke, as he smells her. But the only empty seat is next to him, so she takes it, and he shoves one of the tapeworms in her direction. He has black eyes. When she sits down, she sniffs her hair trying to figure out what is wrong. Right before the bell rings, Edward bolts. Bella goes to the school office for something, but ends up leaving after she overhears Edward trying to get out of the class. He bolts from that room, too.

Later, she and Charlie go to a diner for dinner. Everyone there tries to help her remember them, but she really can't, and she's obviously uncomfortable with all the attention. One guy comes up and says he was a Santa Claus one year, and Charlie reminds him that she was 4 when that happened.

Now we cut to some sort of energy plant or warehouse. A man is running down stairs and away from something or someone. However he gets stopped by his pursuers and is attacked.

Bella comes down the front steps and slips on ice. Charlie (who has just pulled up in her truck) helps her up. He explains that he just bought new tires since they were getting bald and it was getting icy out. She thanks him, and he tells her he's off to go look into an attack at a local plant. He says it was some sort of animal. She heads off to school, and the voice-over informs us she has every intention of going and asking Edward what his problem was. Thing is, when the Cullens pull up in a re convertible and a white jeep, Edward is not with them. Over the next few days he is still a no show. Finally, though, he is in biology one day. He actually starts talking to her, introducing himself as they start looking at slides through a microscope (first team to correctly identify all four slides gets a golden onion!). They talk about the weather, how she's not fond of it, why she moved to Forks, etc. He walks her to her locker, still asking question while she holds the golden onion, when she asks if he got contacts because his eyes were really dark last time she saw him. He stutters through an answer ("Its the fluorescent lights") then takes off.

Outside, she's getting her stuff together to get in her truck. She looks over her shoulder and sees that Edward is staring at her. Suddenly, Tyler's big blue van hits ice when swerving around a car backing out of its spot. He loses control and is headed straight for Bella! But out of nowhere comes Edward, who grabs Bella and puts up his hand, which leaves a huge dent in the van and stops it. Edward and Bella lock eyes, and he knows he's obviously done something really stupid. He takes off as the other students rush the van and Tyler rolls down his window and apologizes profusely.

At the hospital, Bella is trying to calm down Tyler as Charlie walks in and tells Tyler he'll deal with him later (basically tells him he's going to suspend his license). Dr. Cullen comes in, examines Bella and asks what happened. She says she was really lucky because Edward was right there rescued her. Tyler starts apologizing again and Charlie jerks a divider curtain shut. Dr. Cullen releases Bella, and Charlie advises her to call her mom. As Bella heads off around a corner she notices Edward, Dr. Cullen, and Rosalie talking. Rosalie is saying that what Edward did risked the whole family, Dr. Cullen notices Bella and stops the conversation, and Bella asks to talk to Edward. He tries to convince her that she hit her head and that he was standing next to her the whole time. She insists that he was across the parking lot and wants to know what happened. He tells her to get used to disappointment because he's not saying anything.

That night she wakes up in the middle of the night. Edward is in her room. She turns on the light and he's gone. That is the first night she dreamed about Edward.

The next day, Bella gets to school and everyone is crowding around for a field trip. Mike tries to ask Bella to the prom, but she's not paying attention at first, watching Edward. She finally tells him to ask Jessica because she will be in Jacksonville that weekend (she's making it up, though.) On the trip, Edward asks her what is in Jacksonville and dodges her questions and tells her they shouldn't be friends. Jessica interrupts telling Bella about going to prom with Mike. Outside, again, Bella finally spits out that she thinks Edward regrets saving her. When Alice asks if she will be joining them on their bus, Edward says its full.

Back at school, Erik invites Bella to La Push, the beach down on the reservation, with the "gang" (Angela, Tyler, Mike, and Jessica). She says she'll go, then drops an apple. Edward does a neat trick (he had been halfway across the room, for one) by catching the apple with his foot and sending it up to his hands (look for the iconic book cover to 'Twilight' in this moment). She says, "Your mood swings are giving me whiplash." He explains that they really shouldn’t be friends. She asks if he will answer her questions. He says no, but he'd like to hear her theories. She says radioactive spiders, or kryptonite. He says, "Those are all superheroes, but what if I'm the bad guy?" She says he's not, she trusts him. He says, "Don't." She asks if they can just hang out and invites him along to the beach that weekend. He asks which beach and she tells him, and he backs out.

At La Push, the guys and Jessica are getting ready to surf when three of the locals show up, Jacob, a friend, and Sam. They ask if they can hang out, and Jessica tells them to keep Bella company since her date baled on her. Jacob, a little miffed, asks who that was. Jessica says it was Edward, and Sam makes the comment that the Cullens can't come to La Push. Later, Bella asks Jacob what Sam meant by that. Jacob says that it is a really scary story, and tells her that, according to legend, the tribe is descended from wolves, and that Jacob's grandfather came across the Cullens hunting. They were told that the Cullens were different, and they set up a treaty (there is a great montage of wolves, the Indians, and the Cullens in clothes from the 1930's here). The Cullens would never come on there land. Bella asks what they are. Jacob says it is just a story.

At home, Bella starts looking up Quilette legends and comes across a book that is sold in a bookstore that is in a town close by called Port Angeles. The next school day is bright and sunny, and Jessica tells Bella (who is obviously looking around for 'someone') that the Cullens never show on sunny days. They always go hiking and camping. Angela runs up excited because she asked Eric to prom and he said yes (Bella encouraged her in doing that at La Push). They decide to head into Port Angeles to find dresses.

Some guys walk by the shop they go to and whistle and catcall at them. The girls brush it off. Bella isn't interested in the dresses, but she tells the girls that all the dresses they try on are good. Jessica points this out, and Bella says she wants to get to this bookstore and that she will meet the girls at dinner. She takes off and buys her Quilette legend book. On her way back in town (it is dark now) she sees two of the guys who walked by the shop. She turns around and takes another road, but she ends up surrounded by all four. They start pushing her around when suddenly a silver Volvo whips around the corner. Edward gets out and tells Bella to get in, then growls (like, really growls!) at the guys. They back off and flee in terror. He gets in the car and speeds off, telling Bella to distract them so he doesn't go back and kill those perverts. They get to the restaurant and Jessica and Angela have already eaten. Edward wants to make sure Bella eats, though. Through their conversation in the restaurant, Edward reveals that he can read thoughts, which is how he found Bella. He goes around the room, naming the thoughts that everyone is thinking ("Money, sex, money, sex, cat"). But he can't read Bella's thoughts. In the car ride home, Bella accidentally touches Edward's hand as she tries to adjust the temperature. His hands are cold, she says. He doesn't say anything. They pull up to the police station in Forks, where Bella sees her dad's cruiser and Edward sees his father's car. Dr. Cullen comes out having examined he body of another person who had been "attacked by an animal" (he makes serious eye contact with Edward). Bella asks if it is the same animal that attacked the man at the station. "Yes" (serious eye contact again). She goes in and comforts her dad because it was a friend of his who was killed (remember Santa man?). He gives her some pepper spray, just to help her "ol' man feel at ease."

Back at home, she starts looking up various legends about "cold ones" and finds legends on vampires from all different cultures. The montage ends with the image of Edward leaning in for the kill - herself.

At school the next day, she locks eyes with him, then deliberately walks past him and into the forest. She tells him she knows what he is (this is shown in the trailer), that he's impossibly fast, cold, pale, etc. He tells her to "say it." "Vampire" she says. But she's not scared. He sort of wigs out and takes her further up the mountain (running super fast!) and shows her what he does in the sunlight (he sparkles), that there is no prey that can escape him, and he is very strong (he rips up a tree limb and smashes it against a boulder). He calls Bella his own drug, his own brand of heroin that he could kill at any time. She insists that he won't.

The next few minutes is tied up in a montage of the two of them together in a meadow and just generally getting to know one another. He tells her that he and his family is "vegetarian" so they don't eat humans. Alice sees the future, but other than that he is the only other one with an additional "gift." He shows up at her house one night having snuck through her window, and he tells her he wants to try something. He instructs her to remain very still, then leans in for the kiss. She gets a little carried away, and pulls him on top of her, but he freaks out and throws himself backwards. He can't lose control, and she apologizes for losing control herself.

Edward tells Bella he wants to introduce her to his family, and she's afraid they won't like her. Complications arise when Edward "hears" Billy coming, and he takes off as Billy pulls up, but not before they see each other. Billy, while talking to Charlie about the attacks, tells Bella that he wouldn't want anyone to get hurt (implying the Cullens are dangerous).

The next day, Edward walks Bella into his HUGE, practically all glass, house where the family is preparing an Italian dinner for Bella (even though none of them eat human food). She explains she's already eaten and doesn't want to inconvenience them, and Rosalie flips out, breaking a glass bowl, and starts ripping in to Edward about how this is going to turn out bad for the family. Bella realizes she means that if she is the next meal, and Alice introduces herself by giving Bella a hug and telling that she does smell good (good to eat, that is). Edward is obviously embarrassed, and herds Bella off upstairs while Esme, Dr. Cullen's wife, says, "That went well!" In Edward's room, there's no bed, but a bunch of music. He tries to help Bella dance, but she doesn't dance. "I'll have to make you," he says, to which she replies, "I'm not scared of you" (again, trailer moment). Edward whisks her off to the trees where they get a really good view of the mountains and lay of the land.

Somewhere in here is a scene where Charlie is with some other people and dogs as they track the animals/vampires that are responsible for the attacks. They find the footprint of the woman who is involved headed east, but that is all. Charlie and Bella end up at the diner again and are asked if there has been any progress on the attack cases. There hasn't, but they're working hard. Charlie then starts asking Bella about boys (Mike and the other boys are outside the diner goofing off). Bella says she's not interested in any of them.

One morning, Bella comes to Charlie, who is cleaning his shotgun, and tells him that she is sort of dating Edward and that he wants to meet her dad. He's in the driveway, so Charlie snaps the gun shut and decides to just get things over with. Edward introduces himself to "Chief Swann" and tells him that Bella is going to play baseball with his family. Charlie chuckles a bit at that (Bella is no good at sports), but says ok. On her way out, Charlie asks Bella if she still has that pepper spray.

At the game, a thunderstorm rolls in and Alice says it is time to start. Bella plays as umpire, and Carlisle, Rosalie, and Jasper all take turns at bat. Esme catches, Edward and Emmet are outfielders, and Alice pitches (this is the coolest scene, too!). All is going well until Alice sees the three vampires who have been attacking lately coming into the clearing. She gathers everyone up, and Edward apologizes to Bella for putting her in danger. At first things seem to be going well, and they are about to resume the game with the newcomers Laurent, James, and Victoria, when James catches a whiff of Bella. "You brought a snack!" Edward freaks out and they all stand at the ready to attack. Carlisle suggests they all leave, and the three go. But Edward knows that James is a skilled tracker, and he's not going to give up. He wants to get Bella out of town immediately. She talks him into taking her back to the house where she can stage a fight and leave so that Charlie will be safe. Bella ends up saying the exact same things to her dad that her mom said when she was leaving him so that she (Bella) can leave without Charlie trying to follow. It works - James is going to leave Charlie alone. Edward and Bella get back to the house where Laurent is warning the Cullens that James will never give up and to not underestimate Victoria. The Cullens formulate a plan after Laurent leaves, and Alice, Jasper, and Bella all head off to Phoenix. Emmet, Edward, and Rosalie run into the forest with some of Bella's clothes to create a fake trail.

Alice, Jasper, and Bella make it to Phoenix and are waiting. Alice sees that James leaves the fake scent and is headed toward a place with a lot of mirrors. Bella recognizes the place that Alice draws as an old ballet studio she went to, and gets a call from Edward who is on his way to Phoenix. He wants to leave with Bella for a while until James gives up. Victoria is still around, and Esme and Rosalie are protecting Charlie's place.

Bella gets a call from "home", which turns out to be her mom, who sounds frantic. James then takes over and tells Bella to go to the ballet studio and her mom won't be hurt. She sneaks off from Alice and Jasper and ends up at the studio, where she hears her mom's frantic voice. She opens a closet and sees a TV with her as a little girl and her mom. James turns up and explains that he borrowed the tape, and a camcorder, and he starts recording as he tortures Bella by throwing her across the room and breaking her leg. He tells her to tell Edward to avenger her, but she says no. Edward flies in and a grisly fight ensues. James ends up getting back to Bella and biting her wrist. Edward finally pins James and rips chunk from his neck as Alice, Jasper, Emmet, and Carlisle arrive. They take care of James, lighting a fire and tearing him to bits (Alice is pretty good at breaking necks!), and Carlisle and Edward start working on Bella. She is screaming and writhing in pain from the bite, and Carlisle tells Edward he needs to draw the venom out of her. He does, but it doesn't look like he will be able to stop for a minute. Carlisle tells him to "find the strength", and Bella blacks out.

Bella wakes up in the hospital to her mom, who explains that she "fell down a flight of stairs and through a window." Bella, of course, knows what really happened, but doesn’t say anything. Her mom leaves, and Edward, who hasn't left the room once, "wakes up" and apologizes (again) and says that Bella should go to Jacksonville with her mom. Bella panics, and tells him not to leave her. He promises not to.

Back in Forks, Edward and Charlie are waiting uncomfortably for Bella to come down the stairs. She comes down, fully decked out in a gorgeous prom dress, and Edward and Bella head off to prom. Jacob is waiting for Bella outside, and he comes with a warning from his dad. Billy has paid Jacob to tell Bella to break up with Edward, and that "we will be watching you." Jacob laughs it off, and Bella tells him to make sure he gets paid. Edward and Bella head into the prom, but go outside after a couple minutes. Edward helps Bella dance on his feet, and she finally says that she wants to become a vampire, that she's chosen a life with him. He asks why a long life with him wouldn't be good enough, and tells her that he doesn't want to end her life. She says its good enough for now.

Panning out, we see a woman watching the two dance from an upstairs window. When she turns around, we recognize Victoria. She shakes her hair down and smiles evilly before walking away from the window.

The Artifact

Sometimes, a character or gimmick seems to no longer fit with the mood or design of a story according to a writer, but is kept because there seems to be no way for the writer to get rid of them without causing some serious disruption (unrelated to Retcons).

Sometimes it's due to being tied in closely to the mythos or that The Artifact has just been around so long that removing it seems like overstepping bounds. And if it's due to pure fan popularity, the producers probably aren't going to push it out in any case for no reason.

The general way to solve this problem is to avoid it, or rather, them. You can bet anyone considered The Artifact is going to be politely skipped over by the writer whenever they can, although this can get shaky if the audience is seasoned to expect them around.

A common example of this trope is when a story has a point of view character who's "the new kid in town" and learns about the setting along with the audience. It's inevitable that they'll get used to things before long, and if they don't settle into a new role or have something unique about them, they risk being outshone by the ensemble cast.

Very common in webcomics and print comics with a rotating circle of writers. Less common on television given the emphasis on demographics and ratings, although Filler occasionally trots out old premises.

Occasionally this is caught early enough, though in Long-Runners this results in an odd Bleached Underpants situation within a series, usually from Author Appeal tastes.

Compare Grandfather Clause, where something cliché or inappropriate is retained because of tradition. Contrast Canon Immigrant, Pinball Protagonist, Breakout Character, Creator's Pet. See also Artifact Title. See Network Decay when this happens to an entire channel. On occasion The Artifact (or something the writers think is only an artifact) will be done away with but then missed and brought back in a different form as a Replacement Artifact if The Artifact is restructured to fit in with current sensibilities, it's Reimagining the Artifact. When changes to a story or franchise ARE made after some early ideas don't quite fit development of the concept, that's Early Installment Weirdness. Artifacts in long-running adaptations are sometimes due to Early Adaptation Weirdness.

This trope has nothing to do with magical items or similar ancient objects of power for that, see Artifact of Power. Has no relation to the videogame of the same name.

Actress Farrah Fawcett dies

The pop icon, who in the 1980s set aside the fantasy girl image to tackle serious roles, died Thursday shortly before 9:30 a.m. PDT in a Santa Monica hospital, spokesman Paul Bloch said.

She burst on the scene in 1976 as one-third of the crime-fighting trio in TV's "Charlie's Angels." A poster of her in a clingy swimsuit sold in the millions.

She left the show after one season but had a flop on the big screen with "Somebody Killed Her Husband." She turned to more serious roles in the 1980s and 1990s, winning praise playing an abused wife in "The Burning Bed."

She had been diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. As she underwent treatment, she enlisted the help of actor Ryan O'Neal, who had been her longtime companion and was the father of her son, Redmond, born in 1985.

This month, O'Neal said he asked Fawcett to marry him and she agreed. They would wed "as soon as she can say yes," he said.

Her struggle with painful treatments and dispiriting setbacks was recorded in the television documentary "Farrah's Story." Fawcett sought cures in Germany as well as the United States, battling the disease with iron determination even as her body weakened.

"Her big message to people is don't give up, no matter what they say to you, keep fighting," her friend Alana Stewart said. NBC estimated the May 15, 2009, broadcast drew nearly 9 million viewers.

In the documentary, Fawcett was seen shaving off most of her trademark locks before chemotherapy could claim them. Toward the end, she's seen huddled in bed, barely responding to a visit from her son.

Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith comprised the original "Angels," the sexy, police-trained trio of martial arts experts who took their assignments from a rich, mysterious boss named Charlie (John Forsythe, who was never seen on camera but whose distinctive voice was heard on speaker phone.)

The program debuted in September 1976, the height of what some critics derisively referred to as television's "jiggle show" era, and it gave each of the actresses ample opportunity to show off their figures as they disguised themselves in bathing suits and as hookers and strippers to solve crimes.

Backed by a clever publicity campaign, Fawcett -- then billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors because of her marriage to "Six Million Dollar Man" star Lee Majors -- quickly became the most popular Angel of all.

Her face helped sell T-shirts, lunch boxes, shampoo, wigs and even a novelty plumbing device called Farrah's faucet. Her flowing blond hair, pearly white smile and trim, shapely body made her a favorite with male viewers in particular.

A poster of her in a dampened red swimsuit sold millions of copies and became a ubiquitous wall decoration in teenagers' rooms.

Thus the public and the show's producer, Spelling-Goldberg, were shocked when she announced after the series' first season that she was leaving television's No. 5-rated series to star in feature films. (Cheryl Ladd became the new "Angel" on the series.)

But the movies turned out to be a platform where Fawcett was never able to duplicate her TV success. Her first star vehicle, the comedy-mystery "Somebody Killed Her Husband," flopped and Hollywood cynics cracked that it should have been titled "Somebody Killed Her Career."

The actress had also been in line to star in "Foul Play" for Columbia Pictures. But the studio opted for Goldie Hawn instead. "Spelling-Goldberg warned all the studios that that they would be sued for damages if they employed me," Fawcett told The Associated Press in 1979. "The studios wouldn't touch me."

She finally reached an agreement to appear in three episodes of "Charlie's Angels" a season, an experience she called "painful."

She returned to making movies, including the futuristic thriller "Logan's Run," the comedy-thriller "Sunburn" and the strange sci-fi tale "Saturn 3," but none clicked with the public.

Fawcett fared better with television movies such as "Murder in Texas," "Poor Little Rich Girl" and especially as an abused wife in 1984's "The Burning Bed." The last earned her an Emmy nomination and the long-denied admission from critics that she really could act.

As further proof of her acting credentials, Fawcett appeared off-Broadway in "Extremities" as a woman who is raped in her own home. She repeated the role in the 1986 film version.

Not content to continue playing victims, she switched type. She played a murderous mother in the 1989 true-crime story "Small Sacrifices" and a tough lawyer on the trail of a thief in 1992's "Criminal Behavior."

She also starred in biographies of Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld and photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

"I felt that I was doing a disservice to ourselves by portraying only women as victims," she commented in a 1992 interview.

In 1995, at age 50, Fawcett posed partly nude for Playboy magazine. The following year, she starred in a Playboy video, "All of Me," in which she was equally unclothed while she sculpted and painted.

She told an interviewer she considered the experience "a renaissance," adding, "I no longer feel . restrictions emotionally, artistically, creatively or in my everyday life. I don't feel those borders anymore."

Fawcett's most unfortunate career moment may have been a 1997 appearance on David Letterman's show, when her disjointed, rambling answers led many to speculate that she was on drugs. She denied that, blaming her strange behavior on questionable advice from her mother to be playful and have a good time.

In September 2006, Fawcett, who at 59 still maintained a strict regimen of tennis and paddleball, began to feel strangely exhausted. She underwent two weeks of tests and was told the devastating news: She had anal cancer.

O'Neal, with whom she had a 17-year relationship, again became her constant companion, escorting her to the hospital for chemotherapy.

"She's so strong," the actor told a reporter. "I love her. I love her all over again."

She struggled to maintain her privacy, but a UCLA Medical Center employee pleaded guilty in late 2008 to violating federal medical privacy law for commercial purposes for selling records of Fawcett and other celebrities to the National Enquirer.

"It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope," she told the Los Angeles Times in an interview in which she also revealed that she helped set up a sting that led to the hospital worker's arrest.

Her decision to tell her own story through the NBC documentary was meant as an inspiration to others, friends said. The segments showing her cancer treatment, including a trip to Germany for procedures there, were originally shot for a personal, family record, they said. And although weak, she continued to show flashes of grit and good humor in the documentary.

"I do not want to die of this disease. So I say to God, `It is seriously time for a miracle,"' she said at one point.

Born Feb. 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, she was named Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett by her mother, who said she added the Farrah because it sounded good with Fawcett. She was less than a month old when she underwent surgery to remove a digestive tract tumor with which she was born.

After attending Roman Catholic grade school and W.B. Ray High School, Fawcett enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. Fellow students voted her one of the 10 most beautiful people on the campus and her photos were eventually spotted by movie publicist David Mirisch, who suggested she pursue a film career. After overcoming her parents' objections, she agreed.

Soon she was appearing in such TV shows as "That Girl," "The Flying Nun," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Partridge Family."

Majors became both her boyfriend and her adviser on career matters, and they married in 1973. She dropped his last name from hers after they divorced in 1982.

By then she had already begun her long relationship with O'Neal. The couple never married. Both Redmond and Ryan O'Neal have grappled with drug and legal problems in recent years.

Platt grad part of team behind Oscar-winning ‘Hair Love’

MERIDEN, Conn, (AP) - A seven-minute animated film turned into an Oscar win recently for a Platt High School graduate who was part of the production crew.

James Rolstone, who graduated from Platt in 2013, worked as a production coordinator on “Hair Love.” The film centers on the relationship between an African-American father, Stephen, his daughter, Zuri, and her hair.

In between the lesson of self-love and self-acceptance is the challenge of styling natural hair.

Rolstone was a theater arts student at Platt High School and won the Frank A. Lamphier Art Merit Prize in his senior year. He studied filmmaking, editing, cinematography and post-production work at Emerson College.

“Endlessly proud of the work done on this short, and happy I get to work with such talented people everyday,” he posted to Facebook after the win.

Rolstone, who could not be reached for comment, now works at Six Point Harness, an animation studio in Los Angeles.

“Hair Love” was shown in theaters alongside “The Angry Birds Movie 2” on Aug. 14, 2019, and later released on YouTube.

“He was very involved in theater, the arts, band and was in six plays,” said theater teacher Ethan Warner. “One of the shows he wrote here as a playwright is what he submitted to get into film school.”

A group of Platt students had seen “Hair Love” after it received Oscar buzz, Warner said, before they even knew an alumnus had worked on the production.

“We have a very diverse school,” Warner said. “The students felt it was a powerful piece. Beyond the racial issues, the familial issues were very important to them. We are very excited to see James pursue his dreams.”

“Hair Love” was directed by Matthew Cherry, a former NFL wide receiver who retired from football in 2007. In his acceptance speech at the Oscars earlier this month, Cherry referenced the CROWN Act. The acronym stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” The act seeks to ensure protection against discrimination based on hair texture and protective styles.

Cherry took note of CROWN after Texas high school student Deandre Arnold was told he could not participate in graduation unless he cut his dread locks.

“‘Hair Love’ was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation,” Cherry said. “We wanted to normalize black hair and there’s a very important issue out there, the CROWN Act. If we can get this passed in all 50 states, it will help stories like Deandre Arnold’s stop.”

Cherry said in later interviews that there were three reasons for making the film: Shine a light on black hair, normalize black families and highlight black fathers.

City Councilor Larue Graham, who is also executive director of the Meriden Boys & Girls Club, said there is real discrimination against black youths for braids, or color of braids, or dress.

But Meriden’s diversity makes it less of an issue.

“I don’t believe we come up against it in Meriden,” Graham said.

He agreed that there are prevalent stereotypes against black fathers.

“I don’t believe that absentee fathers can be stereotyped,” Graham said. “There are good and bad fathers anywhere. I take great pride in the relationship I have with my kids, my daughter in particular. I had no issue doing her hair.”

Graham recalls many times it was left up to him to do his daughter’s hair.

Stereotypes “are prevalent,” he said. “I don’t think they are at all accurate but they are prevalent.”

David Ortiz has witnessed black hair discrimination firsthand as a barber and stylist at Feel Fresh on West Main Street in Meriden.

“People deal with that all the time,” Ortiz said. “You get classified urban and in some places that’s a negative. But not here.”

Ortiz is insulted when customers come in and ask “Do you know how to cut black people hair?” he said. “I get offended, it’s not black people hair, it’s coarse hair, curly, ethnic hair. Dominicans, Puerto Ricans have the same hair.”

Ortiz works part-time with disengaged and disenfranchised youth in the local high schools. The teens are primarily those who don’t want to go to college. He calls his program about setting goals and making affirmations, the “Feel Fresh Way.”

“We shouldn’t be asking that you should change your look to fit in,” Ortiz said. “We promote the individual. We do dreads here from white to purple to orange, green and blue.”

Ellen Parks, owner of Dynamic Hair on West Main St., estimated about 40 percent of African-American women like their hair natural. The other 60 percent want to change it, sometimes a lot and sometimes just a little.

“It’s just a mindset about the person,” Parks said. “No matter how beautiful that person is, that extra hair (weave) gets you more spunk. When they’re girls, they have to have that for their prom or birthdays.”

All the conditioning and relaxing products help black women manage their hair between salon visits, she said.

“You can straighten it, blow it, twist it, braid it, sew it, and some people wear wigs,” she said. “And some people gotta go natural cuz they’re proud. It all has to do with how they learn to manage it or how they feel about themselves.”

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